Google Officially Unveils Podcasts Redesign, New Features

Google Podcasts AH 01

The wraps have now officially been taken off of a newly redesigned Google Podcasts app UI on the way for Android. For reference, that's the same UI that's appeared in previous reports across the web, delivered alongside a couple of brand new features. Google is delivering the changes to Apple's iOS first, this time around. Android's update is scheduled to follow shortly.

Google started its redesign by centering interactions around a new bottom-bar interface. When launched Google Podcasts will greet users with an explanation of the new UI, comprised of three tabs. Those include a Home, Explore, and Activity tab.

The new home page UI is nothing like the previous iteration. It primarily showcases subscribed podcasts and content.


Subscribed podcasts themselves are portrayed in a carousel of thumbnails at the top of the page for easy access. Google has moved the prior home page UI, including "For you," podcast categories, recommendations, and top podcasts to the new Explore tab. That's denoted by a magnifying glass-icon and is also where users will find search capabilities.

Brand new features are part of this Google Podcasts UI redesign

The new Activity tab, meanwhile, houses the interface one of several new features. The first of those greets users immediately upon switching to the tab. That's the new "Your queue" feature. Now, with Google Podcasts, users are able to arrange and line up several podcast episodes to watch in succession. That's as opposed to being forced to watch podcasts one-by-one as in the old interface.

Podcast episodes can be added to the new queue via a playlist-style icon comprised of horizontal lines and a plus button. That shows just beneath the title and description for a given episode — just next to the play button.

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The Activity tab also provides the essentials for managing downloads, history, and subscriptions.

Setting aside the new tabbed UI, Google Podcasts users are getting a couple of other new features too. Google placed each of those in the Settings of the app, tucked behind a tap on the three-dot menu button.

The first has been around for some time but is getting a wider rollout. Namely, that's the ability to toggle automatic downloads of new episodes for subscribed podcasts. But Google went a bit further here too, in terms of new episode notifications.


After the update, users can enter Settings to set up which podcasts will notify them of new episodes. Each subscribed podcast has its own toggle switch, turned off by default. So users can individually choose which podcasts to be notified about.

No update needed

This is the first major update the Google Podcasts app since the company began surfacing personal recommendations in-app in December. As with that prior update, users shouldn't need to do much to get the latest UI or features either. Instead, Google is rolling out the changes on the server-side.

That means that there won't be any need to be on the lookout for an update for the app on the Google Play Store. Android users should see the updated interface automatically appearing sometime this week.